Capcom may be reluctant to release an entirely new Mega Man game these days but it has no issues with mining its past and recycling existing titles from the series, and recently announced that it would be releasing all six of the classic NES entries on iOS and Android. Those games launched this week at $1.99 / £1.79 (on iOS, at least) a pop, and they're utterly terrible - but not for the reasons you might expect.
Famed for their intense challenge and demand for quick reactions, it goes without saying that the Mega Man series is completely unsuited to touchscreen control, but a more pressing problem is the fact that the emulation across both iOS and Android is godawful. The frame rate is up and down like a bride's nightie which makes it hard to time your attacks and nail those pixel-perfect jumps, and on iOS the music is ruined by poor emulation.
The issue is so bad that Capcom wasn't even able to hide performance issues from the promo trailers - they feature obvious stutter - but this fan-made compilation video really hammers the point home:
What makes this problem all the more confusing is that we all know that modern smartphones are capable of emulating the NES perfectly. In fact, phones from over five years ago were more than up to this task, and Android devices are emulating MAME, PlayStation and N64 at acceptable levels nowadays. Capcom hasn't yet responded to the groundswell of negativity surrounding these mobile ports, but things are clearly serious - Kotaku, US Gamer, Android Police, Ars Technica and Phone Arena all felt compelled to post utterly scathing editorials on the matter.
Given the amazing job that Nintendo did with Super Mario Run on iOS, it's a real shame that a company with Capcom's experience can't port a series of retro titles - some of which are pushing 30 now - without dropping the ball.
Needless to say, don't waste your money and invest in the superior Virtual Console editions or the excellent Mega Man Legacy Collection instead.
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